Freight forwarder

traffic office clerk import clerk export clerk shipping clerk
Transport, distribution and logistics

Career outlook for freight forwarder

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would organise how to move goods and cargo around the UK and overseas. You’d plan the best ways to transport the cargoes by road, rail, air and sea for your customers.

You would work with various carriers – the companies that provide transport services – and work out the time and costs of getting goods from one place to another.

You would:

  • Arrange routes and schedules
  • Book cargo space with carriers
  • Negotiate the rates
  • Arrange insurance
  • Calculate weight, volume and cost of goods to be moved
  • Record details on a computer system
  • Clear goods through customs and arrange for any duties or taxes to be paid

You’d liaise with your customers to agree contracts, deliver quotations and invoices and give advice about the arrangements that have been made. You’d also do general administrative tasks such as filing.

Working conditions


In a full-time job you would work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You could work standard office hours, shifts, or flexible hours if you regularly deal with countries in different time zones.


You would be office-based.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Making decisions

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set routes into this role but many employers value qualifications in supply, transport and logistics (or business with logistics).

There are only a few logistics, supply and transport centred courses in Scotland.

To enter a Higher National Diploma in Supply Chain Management (SCQF level 8) requires National 4/5 qualifications and two Highers at Grade C or above.

To enter a degree in Transport Management requires a relevant HND.

There are a number of postgraduate courses (SCQF level 11) available such as an MSc in Logistics and supply chain management which would require an undergraduate degree for entry.

To apply to a degree elsewhere in the UK you may require National 5 qualifications, Highers and Advanced Highers.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

Modern languages may also be helpful for some jobs.

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Supply Chain Management (SVQ level 2/3) or accredited training from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply or be willing to work towards these qualifications once in a job.

Previous experience in office administration or transport would helpful.

You will also need good computer skills, and the ability to speak a foreign language could be useful if the company operates in Europe or further afield.